The 49ers were the sexy darkhorse pick before the 2018 season. That lasted until Week Three when Jimmy Garoppolo tore an anterior cruciate ligament.
The 49ers finished 4-12.
Fast forward to the 2019 preseason: No one expected anything out of Garoppolo and the 49ers.
Yet, here they are: The No. 1 seed in the NFC, with Garoppolo having directed them to a 13-3 record.
For that, Garoppolo is PFT’s comeback player of the year. He beat out a load of worthy candidates, including Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Raiders tight end Darren Waller, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Cowboys center Travis Frederick, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and Ravens safety Earl Thomas.
The 49ers traded a second-round pick for Garoppolo, who spent 3 1/2 seasons behind Tom Brady in New England, and gave him a $137.5 million deal after only five starts for them.
Garoppolo proved he is a franchise quarterback this season in his first full season as a starter. He completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards with 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 102.0 passer rating.